Group Campaigns for Reduced Medicare Advantage Payments
The advocacy group Americans United for Change last week launched a grassroots campaign to increase support for a proposal to reduce reimbursements for private Medicare Advantage plans, The Hill reports.
According to The Hill, Americans United, formerly known as Americans United to Protect Social Security, and partners of the group -- the Campaign for America's Future, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, USAction, the Medicare Rights Center, the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare -- "want to deliver the message that the Bush administration's support for Medicare Advantage proves that the president and his Republican allies in Congress are engaged in a piecemeal effort to privatize Medicare."
A recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report found that Medicare reimbursements for MA plans -- which cover extra benefits, such as vision and hearing tests and treatments -- are 12% higher than reimbursements for the fee-for-service program for equivalent benefits.
Americans United President Brad Woodhouse said that the campaign will target younger voters, although older voters will remain the primary target.
He said, "There is a band of activist Americans out there ... who will suit up for the fight if they feel an egregious wrong is being conducted," adding, "A component of this (will be) creating the message that this is a fight" (Young, The Hill, 6/12).